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Shareholder & Partnership Disputes

When running a business, it’s important to protect and preserve the quality of your operations and relationships. Unless you take appropriate precautions, you may end up facing disputes that compromise your ongoing success.

Shareholders may disagree about the direction of a business, which may lead to minority shareholders seeking to prevent the majority from taking a course of action, or feeling pressurised to accept decisions to which they are opposed.

Similarly, business partners may find themselves at odds. Common areas of dispute amongst business partners and shareholders relate to financial management, contract breaches, misappropriated funds and ownership rights.

To reduce the likelihood of disputes, businesses can benefit from expertly drafted shareholders’ and partnership agreements.

A shareholders’ agreement is a contract between a company’s shareholders, governing their rights and duties

A partnership agreement is a contract between business partners, stating each partner’s responsibilities and obligations, and establishing a framework for the operation of the business.

We are specialists in dispute resolution and litigation. We’ve supported companies of all sizes across many sectors. We strive to understand your goals from the outset, helping us deliver a commercially effective strategy that best responds to your needs.

Our expert legal team can support businesses with their shareholder and partnership disputes in many different ways, including:

  • Advising on shareholder and partnership disputes
  • Assisting with Alternative Dispute Resolution (‘ADR’)
  • Drafting and amending shareholders’ and partnership agreements
  • Dealing with the litigation of shareholder and partnership disputes
  • Resolving shareholder deadlock

Ready to speak to us? You can contact your local Isadore Goldman office in London, Norwich or Portsmouth or email

Why choose our shareholder and partnership disputes solicitors?

Independently recognised expertise

Our specialist solicitors are recognised for their industry-leading expertise. We have been recommended many times in high-profile client guides including Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500.

Straightforward and cost-effective legal advice

At Isadore Goldman, we pride ourselves on offering cost-effective and straightforward legal advice to all of our clients. We strive to limit business interruption and provide a streamlined legal process.

Commercially intelligent approach

Our disputes specialists can guarantee a commercially intelligent approach, taking into consideration the requirements of your business.

Before we make any decisions or offer any legal advice, we’ll always consider the influence on your business. We’ve worked with professionals in many industries and we always ensure that clients fully understand their rights and responsibilities.

A great track record of success

We have a fantastic record and an excellent reputation. We’ve helped many clients manage their shareholder and partnership disputes, achieving favourable outcomes and resolving issues before they escalate.

If it is not possible to resolve your dispute between the parties, we can represent you throughout Court proceedings.

Our shareholder and partnership disputes expertise

Early resolution of shareholder and partnership disputes

Our expert team have plenty of experience assisting clients resolve disputes at an early stage. Most of the time, it is in the parties’ best interests to start off by discussing disputes using an informal meeting process.

If matters cannot be resolved in this way, we can help you set out yourposition and desired next steps more formally. Often, we are able to help clients bring about a resolution at this early stage.

Unfortunately, however, resolving disputes is not always straightforward and further action may be required, depending on the circumstances. Rest assured, our solicitors can offer specialist legal support to protect you, whatever the circumstances.

Legal advice on partnership and shareholder disputes

If you’re experiencing a business dispute, it can be difficult to assess your options and know your rights.

You may feel wrongdoing has occurred, but feel unsure of what to do about it, or where to start.

It’s vital that you can set out the facts and present evidence to prove them

Our talented solicitors can assist you with collecting and reviewing evidence, including partnership and shareholders’ agreements. We can help you to build a strong case and avoid problematic setbacks.

As a starting point to resolve the dispute in question, we often start by assessing the following:

  • Is there a partnership or shareholders’ agreement?
  • If so, does the agreement specify a dispute resolution process?
  • What are the parties’ rights and responsibilities?
  • When the company or partnership was formed, what did the parties understand about and expect from their roles?
  • What are the shareholders or partners looking to achieve?
  • What is the underlying cause of the dispute?

After gathering the evidence, we can provide advice about your options, together with a breakdown of the potential expenses involved, according to the complexities of your case.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Whether you’re embroiled in a shareholder dispute or you’ve had a disagreement with one of your partners, our specialist legal team can support you throughout any relevant Alternative Dispute Resolution (‘ADR’) process.

There are many forms of ADR, including mediation and private negotiation. Our team are highly skilled at resolving shareholder and partnership disputes in an amicable manner, and can support you to reduce risk to your company or partnership and help you salvage your business relationships.

We’ve helped professionals resolve a variety of disputes through ADR, including those where:

  • Shareholders or partners disagree about their status and rights.
  • Shareholders feel they have been excluded and denied appropriate control over a company.
  • Parties believe a business is operating to the advantage of certain individuals, rather than for the benefit of the collective.
  • There is a shareholder deadlock, meaning that the business cannot continue to operate as it needs to.
  • Shareholders or partners are looking to part ways and need support with the associated legal processes.

Representation in legal proceedings for shareholder and partnership disputes

If your partnership or shareholder dispute cannot be resolved out of Court, you will need the assistance of a solicitor to prepare for Court proceedings. Our experienced legal team can help you to achieve the best possible outcome from any Court process.

We have a great success rate in representing clients throughout Court proceedings, including appeals.

Shareholder and partnership litigation is often complicated but, with the help of our team, you can resolve your issues and move forward as a business.

Amending shareholders’ and partnership agreements

To guide your business relationships and working arrangements, it’s important to have well-drafted shareholder and partnership agreements. Often, shareholder disagreements or partnership disputes arise due to mistakes or poor drafting in shareholder or partnership agreements. Unless your agreements are clear, it’s difficult to assess the roles and responsibilities of each party.

After a dispute has arisen, you may need to redraft your shareholders or partnership agreement, to prevent similar circumstances from arising in the future. It’s essential to seek the guidance of a solicitor with this, to ensure the terms are clear.

Drafting shareholders’ and partnership agreements

If you do not have shareholder or partnership agreements in place, we can help you assess the logistics of your working relationships and draft the perfect documents from scratch.

A shareholders’ agreement should clearly state the rights and responsibilities of each shareholder. Generally speaking, shareholders who own a larger stake in the business have more control over the running of the company. For example, shareholders who own 50% of shares can make many key decisions about the company’s future.

A partnership agreement deals with a variety of matters, including, typically, how much money a partner has contributed to the business and their share of the partnership profits. The agreement should also clearly state the rights and obligations of each partner and define the process for resolving disputes between them.

Shareholder deadlock advice

A shareholder deadlock occurs when shareholders who have equal shares in a company cannot agree on a certain issue. When this happens, decisions cannot be made, hence the term ‘deadlock’. When you’re facing this situation, it’s important to get legal advice right away.

Our team can offer specialist legal assistance and assess the best course of action. Until matters are resolved, the ongoing success of your company is at risk. Thankfully, our gifted solicitors can help you to remedy the situation and return to business as usual.

Contact us today

For transparent, pragmatic advice about shareholder and partnership disputes, please speak to our expert team today. You can get in touch at any of our offices in Norwich, Portsmouth, or London or email